Monday, August 31, 2009

New Container Port Strategy for Australian State

Victoria to maximise freight potential of Ports of Hastings and Melbourne
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – The Road and Ports Ministry have revealed a new programme to develop and integrate Victoria’s major freight portals.

The Port Futures strategy is intended to maximise the commercial viability of local port operations and secure Hastings position as a major international container port. It is hoped a revised overall transport plan will avoid competition and the duplication of resources.

The main objectives of the plan, which was revealed by Minister Mr Tim Pallas (pictured) on Friday, are:-

* Progressing development at the Port of Melbourne including considering options for new container capacity;

* Continuing to plan for development of the Port of Hastings;

* Improving governance arrangements by bringing responsibility for all ports under a single portfolio, with management of Victoria’s local ports transferred to the Department of Transport from the Department of Sustainability and Environment from 1 July, 2010;

* Improving access to Victoria’s ports including a new proposed Geelong channel improvement program.

* Championing the ‘Green Port’ concept by incorporating world’s best practice sustainability principles into future port development.

Port activity in the State provides an estimated 15,000 direct jobs and a turnover of A$3 billion. Concerns have been raised on the effects of climate change on the seaboard facilities now estimates of a rise in sea levels of 80 centimetres have been forecast by the year 2100. ''Extreme sea level events are likely to occur more frequently and with greater severity as weather patterns change with climate change. Mr Pallas said “Port infrastructure may need to be ready to withstand sea level rises and increased severity and frequency of storm surge events and rising levels''.

Port Futures and Port Land Use Strategies for the ports of Melbourne, Hastings, Portland and Geelong are available at the following link:

http://www.transport.vic.gov.au